Navarre Scott Momaday (born February 27, 1934) — known as N. Scott Momaday — is a Native American author of Kiowa descent. His work House Made of Dawn was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969. Momaday received the National Medal of Arts in 2007 for his work that celebrated and preserved Native American oral and art tradition. He holds 20 honorary degrees from colleges and universities, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Momaday is considered the founding author in what critic Kenneth Lincoln has termed the Native American Renaissance.

House Made of Dawn is considered a classic in Native American Literature.


N. Scott Momaday is the son of writer Mayme Natachee Scott and painter Alfred Morris.

Momaday was born on 27 February 1934 at the Kiowa-Comanche Indian Hospital in Lawton, Oklahoma, South Central United States.

He is enrolled in the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and also has Cherokee ancestry from his mother.

Literary career

Momaday received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1963. Momaday's doctoral thesis, The Complete Poems of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, was published in 1965.

His novel House Made of Dawn led to the breakthrough of Native American literature into the American mainstream after the novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969.

House Made of Dawn was the first novel of the Native American Renaissance, a term coined by literary critic Kenneth Lincoln in the Native American Renaissance.

The work remains a classic of Native American literature.

Academic career

Momaday has taught at the Universities of Stanford, Arizona, UC Berkeley, and UC Santa Barbara, and has been a visiting professor at Columbia, Princeton, and in Moscow. At UC Berkeley, he designed the graduate program for Indian Studies.

He was a Visiting Professor at the University of New Mexico during the 2014-15 academic year to teach in the Creative Writing and American Literary Studies Programs in the Department of English. Specializing in poetry and the Native oral tradition, he will teach The Native American Oral Tradition.